Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
6’0 225 lbs
Tape Viewed: 2014 vs. Michigan, 2014 vs. Wisconsin, 2015 vs. Virginia Tech, 2015 vs. Oregon
Elliott possesses rare burst through the crease. He shoots through the line like a rocket into the secondary and can change direction laterally without losing speed. Benefited from running out of a spread, he’s an excellent run blocker that was used often in this capacity and also has the ability to receive out of the backfield.
What makes Elliott special is his mix of speed, field vision and balance, he uses these three traits to get to the secondary, and bust through arm tackles to finish for touchdowns more often than most.
Elliott has some strange lapses in concentration on tape, resulting in fumbles but they show up rarely and are likely the result of youth and slight inexperience. He is a very impressive prospect with a compact frame that could maybe stand to add a little bit of muscle weight in his legs.
Already a brilliant prospect in 2014, he upped nearly every facet of his game this past season and put an exclamation point on it by rushing for 149 yards and 4 touchdowns in the Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame.
Speed: 5 out of 5
Elliott may not put up a blazing 40 time, but his burst is rare and he has the speed to run away from defensive backs, while never losing it when moving laterally.
Power: 3 out of 5
He rarely lowers his shoulders for trucking moves, but he’s definitely a load to bring down and runs with a physical presence.
Field Vision: 14 out of 15
Perhaps the best aspect of Elliott’s game, he works off excellent blocking from his lineman but rarely fails to find the crease when it’s there. On his long touchdown runs, this ability really shows as he dances through lanes deep into the secondary, easily transitioning from lateral to vertical movement.
Balance: 10 out of 10
Had some brilliant moments on tape, including maintaining balance to burst for 2 more yards and a touchdown against Michigan, he shows rare ability in this aspect.
Break Tackle: 7 out of 10
Rarely goes down on first contact, but can get blown up one-on-one.
Moves: 3 out of 5
Has a nice juke and hurdle but rarely, if ever, uses a spin or truck.
Run blocking: 5 out of 5
Really nice lead block to spring QB Cardale Jones for a TD against Oregon. He has very good awareness of how a play develops and uses that mixed with tenacity to be a force in the run game even without the ball.
Route running: 4 out of 5
There isn’t a lot of data here, but he looks to be a fine route runner who could develop at the next level.
Hands: 8 out of 10
One drop on tape. As long as he’s focused, he’s reliable as a receiver out of the backfield.
Run after catch: 3 out of 5
A natural athlete in the open field, can make a play when there’s cushion, but lacks elite wiggle to get away when the defense is a little tighter.
Blocking: 4 out of 5
Much like his ability in the run game, when asked to block for receiver’s downfield, he’s willing and able. Came back from ten yards downfield to spring WR Braxton Miller for a touchdown against Virginia Tech
Technique: 4 out of 5
Squares up well and has solid pad level but can get lazy with his feet causing him to lose balance when someone comes at him with a bull rush.
Effectiveness: 4 out of 5
Bowled over by current-Packers linebacker Jake Ryan, nearly gives up safety to Oregon DE Gus Cumberlander. Other than that, Elliot is very stout in pass protection, he did not give up a sack on tape.
Potential: 8 out of 10
Looks like this could be a strength to his game at the next level, I don’t think he’ll be elite but neither do I think he’ll ever be a detriment in this area.
TOTAL PROSPECT RATING: 82/100
NFL Comparison: Le’Veon Bell, RB, Steelers
No real weak points in their respective games. Elliott and Bell share incredible burst to pull away from defenders and the field vision to find those lanes and creases. Bell is a more accomplished pass catcher but Elliott has shown all the ability to develop in that role. Both are three-down backs that should never come off the field.
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